Inclusion and engagement

Drawing of an inclusive classroom
Drawing of an inclusive classroom from CFYS' Beginning Teacher study.

Support for Post-Secondary Students with ASD at Public Institutions in Canada (2020-)

Prospective post-secondary students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their parents often spend an extensive amount of time researching potential schools and supports. CFYS research fellow Dr. Megan Ames and Dr. Carly McMorris from the University of Calgary have conducted an environmental scan of the websites of all public post-secondary institutions in Canada looking for support provisions. Out of over 250 institutions, only 6% listed at least one support specific to students with ASD. The team is hoping to make this list publicly available in the near future.

Funding Partners: University of Victoria start-up funding, University of Calgary Campus Mental Health Strategy Research grant
Research Team: Megan Ames and Carly McMorris (University of Calgary)

From policy to practice in decolonization and Indigenizing music education: Ensuring teacher understanding of Indigenous worldviews (2020-)

This project brings together music teachers and Indigenous leaders from all 60 BC school districts, Indigenous Elders and culture bearers, and other interested parties for a large knowledge-sharing and -creation conference. The conference will take place over two days in 2022. Over the following years, the research team aims to develop and maintain a network allowing for communication between participants as they engage in their own work as well as create knowledge mobilization activities to support this work. This project unites a variety of community partners, including The Victoria Native Friendship Centre, The BC Ministry of Education, the BC Music Educators’ Association, Pacific Opera, SD 61 (Victoria, Indigenous Department), SD 83 (Salmon Arm), and the University of British Columbia.

Funding Partner: SSHRC Partnership Development Grant; The University of Victoria
Research Team: Anita Prest & team

Delivering Interventions to Underserved Youth (2020-)

As part of an effort to better address the needs of underserved populations, this project examined the best methods of disseminating programs in these communities. Many such interventions target a large range of problems and promote a variety of healthy behaviours, but are not accessible to remote, rural, and Indigenous populations. In collaboration with Foundry BC, this project brings together intervention creators with schools and other institutions who deliver the programs to work towards a shared understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and how these interventions can best meet the needs of youth in these communities.

Funding Partner: SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant
Research Team: Paweena Sukhawathanakul & team

Cultivating Growth and Solidarity: An Anti-racism Zine for Asian Youth (and Adults too!) (2020-)

With the help of the Faculty of Education COVID-19 Emergency Research Fun, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at UVic were able to create a zine dedicated to educating Asian youth about the complexities of systemic oppression in Canada and how they can better understand their own racial identities and not remain complicit in racism and colonialism.

Cultivating Growth and Solidarity: An Anti-racism Zine for Asian Youth (and Adults too!) was created to connect and strengthen Asian mental health communities across Canada. The intergenerational, interdisciplinary team of UVic researchers was able to create a resource that could provide mental health support to Asian youth who needed it as the pandemic continued to cause increased feelings of stress and isolation. The zine encourages Asian youth, adults and anyone else who reads it to engage in critical anti-racist work on an individual level.

Cultivating Growth and Solidarity: An Anti-Racism Zine for Asian Youth (and Adults Too!), along with more information about the project, can be found at The team is working on a publication and hoping to develop educational materials from the project. Over time, the team hopes the website will develop into an Asian mental health hub as well. 

Funding partner: Faculty of Education COVID-19 Emergency Research Fund
Research team: Fred Chou (Counselling Psychology), Catherine Costigan (Psychology), Nancy Clark, & Jin Sun Yoon

WITS Programs for Bullying Prevention (1997-)

The WITS Programs bring together schools, families, and community members to help elementary school children learn effective strategies on how to deal with bullying and peer victimization. Presently, there are two main iterations, the WITS Primary Program and WITS Leaders Program, as well as translations of the program into French and Portuguese. The research team is collaborating with researchers from Montreal, Brazil, Indigenous communities, and schools to expand the international reach and relevancy of the WITS programs.

Funding partners: SSHRC, CIHR, & Public Health Agency of Canada
Research team: Bonnie Leadbeater, Paweena Sukhawathanakul, & team